“If you learn unhappiness too well you will get good at it”
|David after 11 days on the trail|
This is a great slap in the face quote I heard recently from one of my favorite podcasters. The point was that the more time we spend unhappy then the more we will become comfortable with it.
I went on an 11 day hiking trip this summer and one of the rules was that we were not allowed to wear deodorant due to it being a smellable that could potentially attract bears. I wondered before the trip if an attack from a bear would be better than the smell of a group of unwashed and un-deodorized teen boys. Whew!
I realized on the trail this was not going to be a problem since we very quickly got used to our own smells and soon none of us noticed the stink. Things changed quickly however upon my return home when suddenly the smells that had surrounded me without notice attacked the senses much like a rampaging bear. Of course much of this was due to the equally powerful remarks from my repulsed wife that was thankfully working hard to launder and restore our gear back to pre-trip freshness. Thankfully we had taken showers before leaving camp so at least she was spared that little piece of goodness.
Unhappiness is a lot like our stink. Over time the things that smell up our lives can become so much an accepted part of us that we just move on and hardly notice. We accept that our marriage will never be great, we will always be broke, we will never be close to our children and our jobs will always suck. To make matters worse, we often travel with a stinky crowd that accepts all of this just as the norm.
The reality is that it is way easier just to keep moving forward with things as they are verses taking the time to scrub away the mediocrity that is holding us back. Many of us also do not have a good friend that can look us square in the eye and say, “dude you stink!”
Fortunately for me have my wife, church, friends and others that are willing to crawl into my heart and let me know when a change is needed. For better or worse, I am also my own worst critic and seldom cut myself a break.
What about you? Do you have friend standing by with a good bar of soap? Have you and your partner set proper ground rules to ensure your feedback is out of love and not out of hurt? Do you take time to look deep inside to make sure you are not working to be a champion of unhappiness.
If not maybe it is time to turn a new direction and start that PhD of inner peace. Just don’t look back at that bear and get to running.